Getty ImagesGREGORIO CUNHA
Remember that bust of Cristiano Ronaldo that was unveiled a couple years back that looked, um, nothing like Cristiano Ronaldo? Well, it appears as if yet another statue of the superstar footballer has become something of a laughingstock, though for decidedly different reasons.
The 11-foot-tall statue was unveiled in Ronaldo’s native Portugal in 2014. “This is a very special moment, to have a statue of me,” the Juventus star said at the time. But Ronaldo apparently wasn’t the only one excited about the honor. Upon being erected, the statue included what appeared to be, ahem, a rather large erection. The bulge has been so popular with fans that the bronze finish has been rubbed away by too much touching.
Per the Sun, which was apparently the first outlet to report on the statue’s shiny tumescence:
Of course visitors want to get a photo alongside the artwork—but doing so has had unexpected consequences.
The groin area has apparently been rubbed so frequently that the bronze has been polished into a hard-to-miss shine.
That “hard-to-miss” shine has seemed to open up Statue Ronaldo and his massive bronze bulge to even more mockery, inspiring visitors to make the golden groin the centerpiece of their occasionally NSFW selfies with the sculpture.
Ronaldo, of course, has now been the subject of ridicule for two separate statues, but he is far from the only famous person to have his likeness poorly rendered in sculpture. Who can forget this deeply unsettling attempted simulacrum of legendary comedian Lucille Ball? Or the profoundly weird crying Kurt Cobain statue, depicting the late rocker with a single tear running down his cheek? Or this nightmarish James Dean bust that makes the iconic Rebel Without a Cause actor look like the sunken-eyed ghost of Johnny Bravo?
All fail to adequately honor those they’re meant to pay tribute to, but no celeb to our knowledge has been so shafted by statue makers. Which begs the question: What is it about Cristiano Ronaldo that presents such a challenge for the sculpting community? We may never know.
But here’s one thing we can say about Ronaldo’s shiny bulge statue: it’s far better than giant Elvis-looking Colin Firth.